Society | Feb 26

Traditional Family Gathering to Honor Ancestors in Okinawa

NAHA, Feb 26 (News On Japan) - On January 25th, which corresponds to the 16th day of the first month in the lunar calendar, the people of Miyakojima, Okinawa Prefecture, were seen celebrating the New Year for the deceased, known as "Juurukunichi."

This lively tradition involves families visiting graves and offering feasts to honor their ancestors. Juurukunichi is an annual event grandly observed in the Miyako and Yaeyama regions. This year, coinciding with a Sunday, saw many relatives gathering at the cemetery parks in Miyakojima City from the morning. In front of the graves, dishes and sweets were offered, and after burning Uchikabi, considered the money of the afterlife to ensure ancestors do not suffer from financial woes, the gathered individuals joined hands in prayer. The crowd then enjoyed the feast offerings while merrily paying respects to their ancestors. A man in his thirties, who had returned to the ancestral grave with his children and grandchildren for the first time in eight years from the main island of Okinawa, said, "I prayed to our ancestors for the health and well-being of our family." Furthermore, a woman in her twenties shared, "I reported the birth of my child to them."

Source: NHK


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